MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – As children in Horry County headed back to school this week, so did a couple of Myrtle Beach police officers.
There are two school resource officers in the city of Myrtle Beach- one in the high school and one in the middle school.
PFC Michael Morlano works as an SRO at Myrtle Beach Middle School. He’s there to keep the students and teachers there safe, but says protecting the school is just one part of the job.
“My wife is a teacher, so I kind of wanted to build a relationship with kids as well,” PFC Morlano said.
Morlano says building relationships with the community is one of the most important parts of being an SRO. Whether he’s attending sports games or teaching classes on law enforcement and safety, Morlano helps bridge the gap between police and youth.
“The students especially because we want to build a better relationship with police. I don’t want them seeing a police officer and being afraid of us. I want them to come to us if they need anything,” Morlano said.
Morlano says getting to know the students is his favorite part of the job.
“They’re visiting my office, they’re coming to talk to me every day. We just have normal conversations, it’s nice. After I sit and talk with them, even if they’re in trouble for something, I’m not yelling at them, so they like police officers at the end of it.”
Myrtle Beach police SROs sign on to work at Myrtle Beach middle or high school for three years.
There are also sworn school resource officers in Conway, Loris and Aynor schools. The remaining schools in Horry County have armed security guards.